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Ron Silver's New Career: Fox News Political Analyst

Reported by Nancy - March 30, 2005 -

Yesterday (3/29) on FNL Brigitte Quinn & Rick Folbaum were in a tizzy, trying to cover Schiavo, plus Indonesia, plus Bush, plus the UN. Here's the best indication of how torn they were: they actually cut away from Bush to cover Paul Volcker's annoucement releasing his preliminary report on the UN Oil-for-Food program. But that wasn't the capper. No, the capper was Folbaum interviewing Ron Silver (who plays a political strategist on "The West Wing") about what's happening in Iraq!

Bush:

11:13am (all times ET) saying that Bush is going to to give the Iraqi people "a special shout-out", Quinn interviewed Marc Ginsberg (former US Ambassador to Morocco & frequent FNL talking head). Quinn commented on the "remarkable" developments throughout the Middle East, & Ginsberg followed suit, with "amazing", & giving credit to Bush's "continuing efforts." Back in reality, Quinn noted there's "still some squabbling in Iraq" & Ginsberg again followed her lead, saying that Bush should "avoid taking a victory lap" because things in Iraq are "still up in the air" & might undermine "the very victory" of the elections. Quinn mentioned that one prominent Sunni said he would consider the "armed resistance" to be legit until the US military sets a timetable for departure "which is not likely to happen." Ginsberg brushed this off as Sunnis being "so diverse" & called it a "Sunni-Shiite confrontation." Quinn said there has been speculation that CRice might be woking on how to bring US troops home, but Ginsberg said that Gen Abizaid said it's "inapprorpriate" for the US to set a specific timetable but "clearly the number of US troops" will depend on training etc Iraqis, & that's won't happen "any time in the immediate future." Quinn ended the interview by noting that they were "waiting for" Bush.
Rhetorical question: What's "fair & balanced" about asking one right-wing ideologue for his opinion?

11:25am Quinn said "to the Rose Garden now, President Bush saluting" Iraqis. FNL stayed lived with this until ...

11:35am Quinn recapped some of what Bush said, Folbaum joined her & interviewed former Rep Bob Walker (R-PA) & former Sen Don Riegel (D-MI). Folbaum tried a cutesy play on words, asking if Bush used the Rose Garden "to paint a rosy picture." Fortunately, Riegel ignored that gambit & said he didn't think it's so rosy, citing Novak's article about a timetable to bring US troops home. Folbaum described the Novak piece in a little detail, then asked Walker's opinion, who said setting a date to bring troops home is "not a smart thing" because it gives "the enemy" a date to hang on to. Walker even trotted out the Nixonian pose about bringing troops home "with honor." He also claimed that "spreading freedom is why 1500 Americans have given their lives." Folbaum was very impressed & asked Reigel "How can you argue with that?" Riegel, not so impressed, said it's a "wonderful concept" but the reality is different (e.g., unilateral action, not taking into account minor details like 3 factions that have been fighting for centuries).

12:00pm Wendell Goler reported on Bush's statement in the Rose Garden. In addition to recapping what Bush had said, Goler showed 2 clips from the Bush statement seen less than a half-hour earlier.

12:02pm FNL broke away from Goler in the midst of the second Bush clip to go to Paul Volcker making a statement about the release of his interim report on the UN Oil-for-Food program. There were some "audio difficulties" at first but they were quickly resolved & FNL continued live coverage until 12:05pm.

12:15pm Folbaum interviewed Mort Zuckerman (US News & World Report), ostensibly about Volcker's interim report, but after some initial UN- & Annan-bashing the conversation quickly turned to Bush. Folbaum mentioned Bush's Rose Garden statement & asked Zuckerman about bringing troops home. Zuckerman said it's "all speculation" then went into the usual "Happy Iraq" scenario. Folbaum pressed the issue, saying there's been "speculation" that bringing troops home might happen "in this calendar year." Zuckerman thought that would be "entirely possible."

Ron Silver:

12:24pm Folbaum cited the "continuing march of freedom in the Middle East" & interviewed Ron Silver (actor), Folbaum noted that Bush's "poll numbers" are down, & Silver said Bush doesn't worry about poll numbers, he just does the right thing. Folbaum said there are so many clear & ovious signs of success" in Iraq, & wondered why there are "still so many" who oppose Bush. Silver attributed it to "unfairness on the part of his opponents" & said the Dem & "the indecent left" cannot bring themselves to approve anything Bush does. Silver referenced the Wallace/Truman split in the Dems in the late 40s & impressed the hell out of Folbaum. Silver said that it's time for Bush's "opponents to say 'we need to recognize the nature of the threat' " & berated the "lunatic left fringe of their party" for not seeing things his way. According to Folbaum, Silver has said the world is divided into "9/10" people & "9/11 people" -- so Folbaum asked "What about the 9/12 people" who are "looking to the future?" Silver went back to his Truman analogy, & then said that "critics today pretend they can get out of a war by pretending they're not in a war." The "interview" eventually degenerated into some joking about "The West Wing" but lasted significantly longer (5 mins) than the usual FNL interview (approx 3-4 mins), especially for a single "guest."

Comment: This "interview" (I use the term loosely; it was more of a platform for Silver to be smug, arrogant & nasty while Folbaum was an adoring fan) was brought to you by the same hypocrites who love to bash "Hollywood" -- except, of course, when they can fawn all over some reactionary twit like Silver.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's coverage of Bush today, or Ron Silver's new career). O/T comments will be deleted. Please use the O/T category from the list at right to post unrelated comments. Thanks.